Dutch East India Company – Part II

Lead: In 1602 the government of the Netherlands chartered the Dutch East India Company to expand trading opportunities in eastern Asia. For decades little Holland dominated the European spice trade with in the East Indies.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

Content: Although the Portuguese were the first Europeans to grab the supremacy in spice with the Far East, the Dutch harbored ambitions in the same area. They were eager to expand trade into Asia, and the States-General of the Netherlands developed a corporate strategy to accomplish it. A quazi-governmental joint stock  corporation, the Dutch East India Company was granted a trade monopoly between the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa eastward to the Straight of Magellan at the tip of South America. Read more →

Dutch East India Company – I

Lead: Beginning in the early 1600s, the lure of profits from spices attracted European trading companies to the exotic lands of the East Indies.  

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The drive to acquire the spices from these islands and other riches from the Orient, had gripped the European imagination since Medieval times and had motivated such navigators and explorers as Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan. Spices such as cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon were highly valued for food preservation, medicinal purposes, and, of course, as ways of enhancing the flavor of food and drink. East India Companies were trading companies formed in Western Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to promote trade, primarily in spices. They became the vanguard of the colonial enterprise. Their destination: the 13,000 islands of the eastern Indonesian archipelago (commonly called the Spice Islands), situated near the Equator. Today they are known as the Moluccas.

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Norse Settlement of North America II

Lead: Beginning in the year 1000, Norse sailors established settlements on the eastern coast of Newfoundland. While their habitation of so-called Vinland was brief, they beat Columbus by five centuries.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Norse, sometimes referred to as Vikings, were exceptional sailors, farmers, traders, and shipwrights. They were also intuitive navigators. Denied modern tools such as the compass, either by dead-reckoning, the use of star patterns born of long experience, or fortuitous pursuit of rumors, they made the far north Atlantic a Viking lake. The islands of present day northern Scotland, Iceland and Greenland fell to Norse discovery and control in the 9th and 10th centuries.

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Norse Settlement of North America I

Lead: Before Columbus, before Jamestown, before Vespucci, before Cabot, there was Leif Ericson and his Norse companions. They made the connection, completing the circle, old world to the new.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Wanderlust is an impulse as old as humanity. The desire to settle in a single place, build villages and cities, plant crops and then defend them is a relatively recent phenomenon. From earliest of times humans were wanderers, two-legged predators following the migration trails of the beasts that provided food and clothing essential to sustain life.

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LaSalle Claims the Mississippi for France II

Lead: On April 9, 1682, French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, after sailing most of the length of the Mississippi, claimed the entire River Valley for France. He named the region Louisiana, for his monarch, Louis XIV.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: La Salle was born in Rouen, France, in 1643. He was intelligent and curious, educated by Jesuit priests. He planned to enter the priesthood, but a great sense of adventure pulled him elsewhere and at 24 he set out for New France, the French Colony in North America.

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LaSalle Claims the Mississippi River for France I

Lead: By the mid-1600s the French, along with the English and the Spanish, had high hopes of a vast empire in the New World.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: The French founded Quebec in New France (present day northeastern Canada near the St. Lawrence River) in 1608, one year after the founding of Jamestown. French commerce was founded on the fur trade, which they expanded by moving deeper into the interior of North America. The French formed alliances with Native American tribes and eventually controlled the Great Lakes region, the Mississippi River Valley region including the two great tributaries – the Missouri and Ohio Rivers.

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History’s Turning Points: Who Didn’t Discover America II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: who really discovered America.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Setting aside legendary, ethnic, and national enthusiasts, there are basically three candidates in the race for European discovery of the Western Hemisphere. Prior to the voyages of Columbus, who clearly laid the groundwork for the genocidal destruction of native-American culture and the colonization by Europeans of the western isles, the second group to settle parts of America were Norsemen from Scandinavia. Until the 1800s, most scholars confined the Norse sagas firmly to the realm of legend. Then archeological discoveries made it clear that part of their narrative was true. The first to land in the West was Bjani Herjolfsson who missed his landing on Greenland and briefly touched Labrador. He shared his discovery with Leif Ericson, and in several attempts the Vikings tried to settle the flat, wooded country they called Vineland, but the Norse were not colonizers. They lacked the capital necessary to establish permanent settlements and soon cold, wolves, and hostile natives caused them to abandon their attempts after about a dozen years.

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History’s Turning Points: Who Didn’t Discover America I

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: who really discovered America.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The ongoing debate surrounding Columbus Day, the annual celebration in the United States of that fateful dawn in October 1492 when Italian explorer, in service to the Spanish crown, Christopher Columbus, made landfall in the Bahamas, is often quite lively. Yet, in reality this is essentially a Euro-centric argument. Scholars or ethnic advocates exercise their theories and marshal their evidence over which European or eastern explorers “discovered America.” Surprisingly, there are not a few ideas about who beat the Genoese sea captain to the Western hemisphere and they often originate with ethnic groups and their cheer leaders. Legendary black Africans were said to have made it to western shores in 1500 BCE followed by Phoenicians in 600 BCE and Roman explorers in 64 CE. One of the most interesting conjectures is that of a Chinese expedition led by Hoei-shin, sailing east across the Pacific in the year 499. The exotic legend of the Irish cleric St. Brendan who, with 17 monks, discovered a western island where birds actually spoke Latin before piloting their Celtic boat covered with skins back to Ireland.

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